Danny McGavin is an officer who has just transferred to LAPD's C.R.A.S.H. unit from patrol. Teamed with 19-year veteran Bob Hodges, he is a hotheaded adrenaline junkie, much to Hodges' chagrin. McGavin allows no challenge to authority, however slight, to go unpunished.
The older cop is laid back on the surface, preaching "rapport" to gang members to encourage them to offer help when it is truly needed, and recognizes that every action cops take is scrutinized by the people they are trying to help. The lessons are lost on McGavin, and his actions bring him quick notoriety that rubs off on Hodges.
Amidst this, a murder of a Blood gang member leads to a series of escalations between two other street gangs, a relentless intertwining of seemingly random incidents that culminates in a gang war. Meanwhile, after attempts of reason, friendship and finally intimidation fail to bring any change in McGavin, Hodges finally gives up and requests a partner transfer. Hodges is later killed by a gunshot wound, and McGavin gets a rookie black partner some time later.
McGavin finally learns that being a hardened enforcer has repercussions in the lives of everyone he contacts, and most of all himself, and that force without diplomacy only leads to ruin.